6 soldiers killed in clash with Maute terrorists in Lanao

6 soldiers killed in clash with Maute terrorists in Lanao
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SIX Army personnel were killed during an encounter with members of Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) in Munai, Lanao del Norte on February 18, 2024.

In a statement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said four soldiers were also wounded during the operation, while three terrorists were confirmed dead and several others were hurt.

The wounded soldiers were brought to Camp Evangelista Station Hospital.

Various firearms, including an M16, one M14 rifle and one M203 grenade launcher, were recovered from the place of encounter, along with the remains of one of the three slain terrorists.

The 1st Infantry Division (ID) said the series of clashes happened Sunday, February 18, in Barangay Ramain, Munai, Lanao del Norte.

It added that the first clash broke out when the troops of the 44th Infantry Battalion (IB) launched an offensive against the DI-MG members in Barangay Ramain.

The second clash ensued when troops of the 7th Scout Ranger Company chanced upon another group of DI-MG members in Barangay Ramain but in another location.

The second clash lasted for about two hours and the DI-MG fighters withdrew toward southeast, prompting a third combat group from the 8th Scout Ranger Company to send reinforcement and extricate the casualties.

The 1ID did not identify the six slain soldiers and the other four wounded, but said they belong to the 44IB.

The AFP said the operation was part of relentless offensives against the group, which is behind the fatal Mindanao State University bombing in Marawi in December that resulted in the death of four persons.

“I extend my sincerest condolences to the families of our slain soldiers and offer the AFP's support in this very trying time. I will also make sure that our wounded soldiers receive the best treatment possible for their injuries,” AFP chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner said.

“I assure their families and every Filipino that justice will be meted and all efforts will be exhausted in pursuit of the enemy. Our troops are motivated to finish the job and accomplish our mission of defeating local terrorist groups once and for all,” he added.

Major General Gabriel Viray III, 1ID commander, also expressed his gratitude to the bravery and dedication of the troops for their swift and decisive actions during the clashes.

“Their courage in the face of danger and their commitment of protecting our communities are truly commendable despite the challenges such as poor visibility due to thick fog, progress continues as troops remain mobile and pursuit operations are ongoing,” he said as he extended on Sunday his condolences to the families of the slain soldiers.

“Let us honor the sacrifices of our brave soldiers by staying united and resolute in our commitment to defend our country and uphold the principles of democracy,” Viray added. (TPM/SunStar Zamboanga/SunStar Philippines)


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